September is Emergency Preparedness Month. While it’s always a bonus to have first aid training and a well-stocked kit on hand containing bandages, splints and remedies for common injuries and ailments, MMN’s Health and Wellness herbalist suggests adding an Herbal Emergency Kit with remedies that have helped her through environmental emergencies.
About four-and-a-half years ago, I experienced severe toxic environmental exposure that resulted in the inhalation of high levels of lead, heavy metals, moth crystals, asbestos, gaseous odors, and other carcinogenic materials. I am still recovering from this exposure and never imagined the extent or intensity of the health issues manifested from that exposure.
It changed me forever. I’ve learned what I have always known to be true: health is our most valuable asset, that healing truly takes time, commitment, and patience. I also learned that no matter how traumatic an experience is, you can find beauty in it if you open to it. We don’t always have the opportunity or luxury of being prepared for life experiences, and even when we think we are, when it comes down to it, we can only do the best in each moment.
More recently, I experienced the fire last year as I was driving Pacific Coast Highway when it literally closed behind me. I felt I was going in the right direction, became alarmed and wanted to turn back but the only option was to keep going. The sky was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. As I approached Pepperdine, the evidence of the fire was in my rear-view mirror as a massive cloud of smoke and the inability to tell where the fire was.
It was definitely an opportunity to practice mindfulness, breath work, to stay present and hold a calm and centered energy in the midst of chaos to raise the collective energy. Positive mindset and decisiveness were key, and I was fortunate enough not to have to pull over to the beach.
Cutting up the canyon near Duke’s restaurant and driving along Saddle Peak, it seemed that Topanga was in the clear. I may have been in denial and experiencing a little more PTSD than I realized. I drove to the chiropractor in Topanga to get relief from the intense car ride through Malibu, just as Topanga was ordered to evacuate. I went to Venice and the amount of smoke clouds there were intense.
Luckily, I had my Herbal Emergency Kit with me. One of the first things I did upon arriving was to take my herbs and supplements. Then spent the weekend channeling my energy into crafting tinctures and herbal blends that I knew would be super supportive. The kinds of herbs I found most helpful were bronchial and respiratory support, cognitive support, nasal rinsing, immunity boosting, nourishing and tonifying, and super soothing herbs to alleviate nervous anxiety and PTSD symptoms.
I was fortunate to be around someone compassionate, generous and really funny, who made me laugh a lot. My inner child and relationship wounds were also triggered, enabling me to see where I still needed to heal and grow. This was more therapeutic and a bigger dose of medicine than I realized at the time.
The entire experience resonated deeply from my experience 4.5 years ago, connecting me to deeper levels of healing at many levels, among them recognizing the collective abandonment of people’s homes and possibly their lives. My sympathetic nervous system was in overdrive and it was all about survival. It’s a brilliant response but not a response system you want to continue over long periods of time. Just as earthquakes have an aftershock so do our bodies and nervous systems.
THE PATH TO RECOVERY
Two exercises, a Kundalini stabilizer, and Buddha Breathe will help bring you back to a balanced and centered state. Make notes on an index card from the video to keep in your emergency kit. Remember, too, it is important to stay hydrated, boost immunity, and keep things as clean, clear, efficient, and simple as possible.
- Kundalini Yoga Meditation: Demonstrates how to balance and stabilize the brain hemispheres to eliminate the aftershock. Some of us are more sensitive than others but we are all impacted. Kundalini with Spirit Voyage: https://youtu.be/kdxqL_JsGD0
- Buddha Breathe Meditation: Activates the parasympathetic nervous system which will calm and balance your body. There are videos on YouTube for mindful breathing, but if you’re on your own without power, use this simple technique: Inhale for four counts, filling and extending your belly up and out. Hold the breath in a gentle pause, then exhale for a count of eight, with a gentle pause between breaths. Repeat as much as you need to.
YOUR SAFETY KIT
- Nasal Rinsing—To save water or if there is no water available, Nahs Therapy Sinu Orega nasal spray is a combination of spring water, wild oil of oregano, sea salt, clove bud oil, oil of sage, and oil of bay leaf which kills viruses, bacteria, allergens, etc. Find it on Amazon. Ideally, you’d be able to rinse with real salt and the Niel Med Nasal Rinser, a natural nasal wash, and follow with Nahs Therapy Sinu Orega spray. Both products are good to have on hand at any time. (realsalt.com)
- Aroma Therapy—“Grounding Cord” is an aroma therapy blend that helps ease anxiety and tension in the body and helps balance your energy. It also brings greater awareness and presence to self and surroundings, a general sense of peace and wellbeing. To order: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: “Grounding Cord.”
- Essential Oils—Keep a bottle of lavender and rosemary oils in your kit. Combining these two oils creates a centered and calming effect, allows your energy to stay integrated. Rosemary will help with your attention, focus, and helps the lungs expand. Apply oils to bottom of feet, thyroid, heart and wrists. To order: my.doterra.com/iamjoy.
- Chinese Remedy—Ma Hung is a little more difficult to find and you absolutely need to consult with your doctor before taking this. It is amazing for breathing after being exposed to smoke and toxins. As an alternate, I suggest Dried Thyme with Chamomile tea. It’s a powerful combo. Thyme opens the lung channels and helps eliminate environmental toxicity from the body and energetically calms while simultaneously enables one to gather strength for action. Chamomile is calming, helps flush toxic energy and gently eliminates toxins from cells and systems
- Echinacea (tincture or tea) and raw honey—Add this to your tea above. Echinacea is an energetic, physical protector and purifier. These are two great immunity boosters especially when combined. When the body has experienced harsh conditions, honey can influence a sweetness back into life and will support the liver. This combo will also help keep negative thoughts at bay.
- Gotu Kola (capsules or powder)—Good for enhanced cognitive function and clarity. Also, Sun Potion Mucuna Pruriens is a powder and great for the brain, mood, and nervous system. Add to your coffee, tea, smoothie, water, etc. To order: sunpotion.com. Use discount code: APOTIONADAY, for 15% off.
- Vitamin C—Either from a supplement that is made of whole organic foods or pure vitamin C with acerola and rose hips. Vitamin C is amazing at eliminating viruses, airborne pollutants, and boosting the immune system. Try Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C; Solgar Crystals; or Solaray time-release 1000mg with Acerola Cherry and Rosehips.
- Remember your lemon water. Help your liver out as you stay hydrated and in your power.
WHERE TO OBTAIN HERBS
There are lots of options. Keep it simple.